Santa’s not the only one working this Christmas as National Grid keeps east London’s festive power going

IT’S not just Santa who will be working on Christmas Eve. Staff at the National Grid will work around the clock to keep the fairy lights twinkling, the turkeys cooking and gas supplies safe over the festive period.

In a 24/7 operation dedicated to ensuring gas safety, engineers will be on hand night and day to tackle potentially dangerous gas escapes.

With 10 million turkeys heading for the oven this Christmas and Britain’s central heating thermostats set to ‘high’, safety-conscious staff at National Grid’s call centres are urging people to be extra alert to potential gas escapes over the holidays.

Employees at the centres staff the phone lines of the 24-hour National Gas Emergency Service. They will be handling more than 100,000 calls during the Christmas period.

So far this winter, the day with the highest number of calls - 15,676, was Monday 29 November.

The centres advise callers reporting gas leaks and despatch engineers, who will arrive at the scene within the hour. National Grid staff advise anyone who smells gas to take the following safety steps:

• Call the National Gas Emergency 0800 111 999

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• Do not smoke or light matches

• Do not turn electrical switches on or off

• Open doors and windows

• Turn off the meter at the control valve unless the meter is in the cellar

Meanwhile, Britain’s households can dream of a bright Christmas thanks to the efforts of National Grid’s Electricity National Control Centre.

Staff at the Berkshire facility will manage Britain’s appetite for power on a second-by-second basis, ensuring millions of Christmas lights continue to twinkle and television viewers enjoy the season’s favourite programmes.